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Discover Salisbury during your Wiltshire holiday

Posted on 19th January 2014

The sole city in Wiltshire, Salisbury has long been a popular site for visitors throughout the year. With thousands of years of history to its name, a host of great annual events and, of course, its famous cathedral, there are so many aspects of the city to explore.

So, if you are planning to visit ‘New Sarum’ during your next Wiltshire cottage getaway, here is a great little guide to help you with things to do in Salisbury

Learn more about Old Sarum

While Salisbury as a city proper dates back to around 1220, human habitation in the area has been traced to prehistory and there is conclusive evidence that a Neolithic settlement once stood on the hilltop two miles from today’s Salisbury, and was known as ‘Old Sarum’.

With proof of settlement here dating back as early as 3000BC, it stands as one of the oldest such sites in the country and attracts hundreds of historical enthusiasts year after year. It once boasted a Norman cathedral, although this was demolished in 1219 in favour of a new structure being built nearer to the River Avon – a decision which ultimately led to the creation of modern-day Salisbury.

Now protected by English Heritage, visitors can still come and experience this historic part of the UK while using the hilltop location to admire the beautiful views across the Wiltshire landscape. If you are planning to bring the kids along, why not consider downloading this handy fact sheet beforehand?

Image Credit: Andrew_Writer (Flickr.com)


Discover the records of Salisbury Cathedral

A dominating structure and a fine example of early English architecture, Salisbury Cathedral is undoubtedly the most popular sight in the city. It is perhaps the city’s biggest claim to fame, sporting the tallest spire (at 123 metres) and the largest cloister in England. While these features are striking enough, what many people don’t know is that the cathedral also contains the world’s oldest working clock, which has been ticking since AD 1386.

To discover another real piece of history here, be sure to take a look at what is the best preserved of the four original copies of the Magna Carta.

One more must-experience on your visit to the cathedral is the Tower Tour, which offers a chance not only to discover the structure’s ancient scaffolding, but also the spectacular views of the cityscape which are available from the 225ft-high viewing tower.

Things to do all year round

While Salisbury isn’t always blessed with sunshine and blue skies, the wealth of annual events on offer means that there is no chance of any spirits being dampened.

Among the highlights of these is the Salisbury International Arts Festival – a celebration which exploded into life in 1973 and has continued to grow in popularity ever since. With classical and world music, theatre, arts, film and visual arts events running over a packed 16-day programme across late May and early June, there is plenty for the whole family to get involved with.

Sporting fans will also find that they are more than catered for during their stay. There is plenty of fun to be had at Salisbury Racecourse, with a packed calendar of meetings between the months of May and October.

To find out more about exploring the city, or to learn more about the many events you could enjoy during your visit, this Salisbury tourist map gives all the information you will need to know.

Image Credit: stevecadman (Flickr.com)